Tax body disputes corruption claim

KINGSTON — The Tax Administration Jamaica says it views as “unprofessional, very unfortunate and grossly unfair” a claim by head of the Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent of Police Radcliffe Lewis, that corruption appears to be a way of life within the organisation.

Lewis, a colourful, tough-talking police officer, who was addressing a committee of the Senate, yesterday said the corruption within the state-run TAJ is endemic and the time has come to bring it to an end.

“This has been happening for years but it would appear that no one wants to bell the cat, and the cat will have to be belled now,” Lewis said.

He added: “All of us will have to clean TAJ and clean it squeaky clean. … The system there is almost like normal. If you not doing corruption there, you are not saying anything, you are not cutting any dash.

“It has to be cleansed and all of us as senior persons, when you cleaning that place, you will have to use Dettol, Lysol and Jeyes (Fluid).”

In a written response to The Gleaner, the TAJ said Lewis’ utterances “appear to be made to grab headlines”.

“SSP Lewis’ continued disparagement of the TAJ is demoralising to the staff and could not be considered to be in the best interest of fostering the mutually respectful and collaborative relationship expected and required of government agencies,” the authority said.

Addressing the committee, Lewis said persons within the TAJ have been operating mini-depots. He said these persons have been stealing government documents and are selling them to motorists.

In the meantime, the TAJ said it has identified some breaches of its systems which are being investigated by the Revenue Protection Division (RPD) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force. (Gleaner)

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